Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Lawmakers give green light to smokable medical marijuana
Following an ultimatum issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis shortly after taking office last month, committees in the House and Senate advanced legislation to lift Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana. The House plan originally would have required doctors to get the approval of a “case review panel” before being able to order smokable marijuana for patients. The governor gave lawmakers until March 15 — 10 days after the annual legislative session begins — to address the issue. More from the Herald Tribune.
Hyatt hotel coming to block next to Tampa City Hall
HRI Properties of New Orleans, one of three developers to submit proposals for the 1-acre lot, paid the city $7.6 million for the block. Now that it is ready, HRI is starting work on a 17-story building with a 230-room Hyatt Place Hotel and a 115-room extended-stay Hyatt House Hotel, plus parking for the public as well as the hotel's use. The project is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020 in time for the Super Bowl in February 2021. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
South Florida roofing company fined $265,196 for unsafe working conditions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined Crown Roofing $265,196 after inspectors observed the company's employees working on roofs without fall protection in August and October of 2018. The company has been inspected 17 times in the past five years, with 11 of the inspections resulting in repeat violations of the fall protection standard, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. More from ABC7.
Brickell, downtown Miami a top destination for business relocation
The office market in the central business district and Brickell is solid. Neisen Kasdin, vice chair of Miami's Downtown Development Authority reports, "As businesses and individuals relocate from [out of state] to avoid paying state income tax, as well as for the lifestyle, there’s greater demand for office space. The vast majority [of newcomers are] finding their way here on their own ... The whole Brickell area has become very dynamic and desirable, partially because it offers a non-auto-dependent lifestyle.” More from Miami Today News.
Florida Sees Robust Solar Job Growth
Florida is seeing strong job growth in the solar sector. The Sunshine State saw a 21 percent increase in solar-related jobs last year, according to a report released by The Solar Foundation. Solar Foundation Director Ed Gilliland additionally credits the decision by utilities to scale up their solar operations as a positive growth driver in Florida. Nationally, the outlook wasn’t as bright--with a 3.2 percent drop in solar jobs across the country. More from WJCT.
Disney World gondolas are in test mode
A gondolas system, connecting Disney's four resorts with Epcot and Hollywood studios, is set to begin carrying passengers this fall. On its parks blog, Disney confirmed the gondolas are currently in testing mode, and called the run between Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Hollywood Studios a major milestone.
» More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Out of the Box
Police recover Kali, a rare Goeldi's monkey stolen from Florida zoo
Kali, the 12-year-old rare Goeldi's monkey reported stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo, has been found safe and sound. West Palm Beach police detectives brought the Goeldi's monkey back to the zoo just before midnight and said she appears to be in good condition.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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